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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Team’s top-scoring defenseman scored Stanley Cup-clinching goal


Frantisek Kaberle signed a four-year contract with the Hurricanes on Tuesday, joining captain Rod Brind'Amour and coaches Peter Laviolette, Kevin McCarthy and Jeff Daniels in agreeing to long-term deals with the Stanley Cup champions this week.

RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed defenseman Frantisek Kaberle to a four-year contract. The deal will pay the team’s top-scoring defenseman from last season $2.2 million per year.

“Frank had an outstanding season and quietly led our defense in scoring,” said Rutherford. “He is a good-skating and experienced defenseman in the prime of his career, and he will play a big role in the team’s future.”

In 2005-06, Kaberle led all Hurricanes defensemen and ranked tied for 22nd among NHL defensemen with 44 points in his first season with the team. His 38 assists ranked tied for 14th among league defensemen and tied for sixth among all Hurricanes players, and his six goals tied for the team lead among blueliners. The Kladno, Czech Republic, native finished the season tied for fifth on the team with a plus-8 plus/minus rating and ranked second among club defensemen in average ice time, skating 19:36 per game while playing in 77 regular-season contests.

Among league defensemen in the 2006 postseason, Kaberle ranked second with four goals, third with 13 points and tied for third with nine assists. In Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Kaberle notched his fourth goal of the playoffs when he beat Jussi Markkanen during a second-period power play. The goal was Kaberle’s 10th power-play point of the postseason, ranking him second among NHL defensemen, and proved to be the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Hurricanes.

Carolina signed Kaberle (6’ 0”, 190 lbs.) as a free agent on July 15, 2004, after his fifth season in the NHL. Los Angeles drafted Kaberle in the third round, 76th overall, in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, and he has scored 26 goals, earned 129 assists (155 points) and accumulated 160 penalty minutes in 386 NHL regular-season games with Los Angeles, Atlanta and Carolina. The Hurricanes 25-game postseason run in 2006 marked his first trip to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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